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©LUX 2015

My works at the Open Studio, 20 Aug 2015

Open Studios at Jiwar – 20 August 2015

I have had the privilege of being here at Jiwar Creation & Society for the past two weeks, in beautiful Gracia in an old part of Barcelona. I love it! I love the history, the variety in the architecture, the joy of finding a new gem! Most of all, I love the atmosphere.
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Jiwar is like an oasis. This building has retained all the architectural features that now make it unique. It has a large garden that is like a guilty pleasure in a big city. It’s inspiring!
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As an artist in residence, artists can come together and create in a welcoming and encouraging space, and can collaborate or discuss their artistic practice with people of like minds.
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I have been here since the 10th of August, and have challenged myself to paint portraits of people. This is something I find daunting because I think it’s essential to achieve more than a likeness, but also to find some of the essence of a subject.
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I am also using patterns in the backgrounds of my portraits. These patterns must have some personal link to the subject or be from the place that I associate with them.
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These patterns are one of the reasons I came here to Barcelona. I love the decorative surfaces like mosaics, tiled floors, painted walls, patterned glass, brickwork, and upholstery. The buildings of the Modernisme (Art Nouveau in France) are most inspiring to me, including the great works of Antoni Gaudi.
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In my short residency, I painted two portraits, Ronan and Pablo, but also included Salvador in the open studios because this is the portrait that inspired me to paint more portraits.

I also like to use recycled things to draw and paint on. My preferred paper is Khadi which is handmade from recycled rags, and I have used this paper for the portraits. I have also used brown paper bags from the bread I have bought at lunch, and travel tickets which I piece together in a tile pattern and strengthen with tissue paper.  These small works are an exploration of the designs I have seen on buildings and the street lights.

It was very fortunate timing because the major festival for the neighbourhood was taking place while I was in residence.  I used this opportunity to take photos and include these in the Open Studios. The photos are taken with my Olympus Pen E-PL1s and my iPhone4.  All photos are processed with Snapseed, an App on my iPhone.

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Facets: Exploring History Through SurfacesFacets Invitation

June 22nd – July 8th 2014, MREAM Gallery, Maidstone, Victoria, Australia

A solo exhibition comprised of watercolours, photocollages and linocuts inspired by my travels through London, Cambridge, Barcelona and Paris.

These images are a small selection of the show.  More will be added.  Watch this space!

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